Dubai Travel Guide for First Time Visitors

by | Last updated Oct 25, 2023 | Live Work Play Travel, Middle East Working Holiday

Dubai is a popular destination for those planning for an international holiday. This Middle Eastern city is at par with any metropolitan city of the West but still preserves its culture and heritage beautifully. Moreover, the amazing architecture and development of the place makes it awe-inspiring. So, be sure to spend at least 2 days in Dubai. As the city thrives on tourism, you would find plenty of brilliant attractions and wonderful things to do in Dubai. Here guest blogger, Rezmin presents a simple guide for those planning to visit Dubai for the first time.


Disclaimer: This post contains links to Affiliate Programs.


Best Time to Visit Dubai


Dubai has a hot climate throughout the year, although the temperature drops down a tad bit during the winter months, i.e. between November and March. While the winter months are perfect to enjoy both the indoor and outdoor attractions of Dubai, do remember that it could get really crowded as it is the peak season. On the other hand, visit Dubai in the summer months (especially in July and August) if you are ready to bear temperatures above 40oC.


How to Visit Dubai


Before planning your Dubai itinerary, you need to check whether you need to apply for a visa. Citizens of several countries around the world can travel to Dubai without a visa. However, for many others, it is important to get a pre-approved Dubai visa. Hence, check this before you start making plans. Emirates and Etihad are the most popular airlines to fly to Dubai, although there are several other budget airlines that would take you to Dubai at a cheaper rate.


Where to Stay in Dubai


Your stay in Dubai would completely depend on your budget. As per your requirements and budget, you can choose amongst budget, mid-range and luxurious hotels. Most budget hotels can be found in Deira, while Downtown Dubai also has several hotels that fall under mid-range and luxurious hotels. For a hostel try DXB Backpackers and Bombay Backpackers. For budget to mid-range hotels try the Fortune Grand Hotel and The Hilton Garden Inn.

If money is no concern, Hotel Atlantis the Palm, Hotel Armani and One&Only The Palm Dubai, are some great options. Also, do not forget that Dubai is home to the only 7-star hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab


Getting Around Dubai


Like most major cities there is plenty of traffic in Dubai. The traffic is influenced by the day of the week. It should be noted the work week in Dubai is Sunday through Thursday with the weekend days being Friday and Saturday. Traffic is much lighter on the weekends. The best ways to get around the city is either to take a taxi or use the Metro system.  If you are limited for time you may want to take the Hop On Hop Off bus to see the sites of Dubai.


What to See and Do in Dubai


The list of the places to visit and things to do in Dubai is endless. Right from the tallest building in the world to one of the largest malls, Dubai offers lot of things to its visitors. Here, you can check out the best places to see and things to do in this Emirate city.


Burj Khalifa


Shiny Burj Khalifa Building Standing High In Dubai.

Being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa does not need any other introduction. Raising 828 meters above the ground, the Burj Khalifa is home to 162 floors. The best way to visit the Burj Khalifa is to head to the observation decks, either on the 124th floor or the 148th floor. Both give you the chance to see the interiors of the desert and the incredible bird’s eye view of the city.


Dubai Mall


The Mall With Its Blue Pool At The Dubai Mall.

Right next to the Burj Khalifa is one of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall. The mall has more than 1200 retail stores, making it a paradise for shopping lovers. However, this mall is not just about shopping. You can entertain yourself for hours at the Dubai Mall as the place has an aquarium and underwater zoo, an ice rink, a gaming zone, a kid’s indoor theme park, a multiplex theatre and a huge food court as well.


Global Village Dubai


Buildings At The Global Village In Dubai.

Global Village is one of the biggest events that happen in Dubai every year. Extending from October to March, Global Village is part market and part theme park. The place has pavilions of different countries, where you can shop the local items, eat the local food and learn about the culture as well. Moreover, there are rides and fun games for people of all ages. One of the major attractions of attending Global Village is the beautiful fireworks that you get to see here every week.


Old Dubai


Person In Their Boat On The Water With Old Dubai Behind.

While the shiny and luxurious side of Dubai is what everybody identifies the city with, the city was not the same not so long ago. Just 5 decades before, Dubai was a simple fishing village, and you can glimpse into the past of the city at Old Dubai. The Deira side of the city is considered as Old Dubai. You would find Al Bastakiya Quarter, the oldest neighbourhood in the city here. Complete with narrow alleyways and sandstone buildings, you get to enjoy the old world charm of the place. You must also visit the Dubai Museum, where you get to know about the history of the place. Do check out the Dubai souks to complete your authentic Emirati experience.


Dubai Desert Safari


People Standing In The Dubai Desert Taking Photos Of The Sunset.

One of the ultimate attractions of Dubai is the desert safari. Filled with adventurous activities like dune bashing, camel riding and quad biking, the desert safari promises a fun evening. However, the desert safari is not just about the adventures. On the other hand, you get to watch the graceful belly dance and the mesmerizing Tanoura dance. You also get to enjoy delicious food at the desert safari.


XLine Dubai Marina


Two People Xlining Over The Dubai Marina.

Although Dubai has several amazing attractions to see, the city is not just about sightseeing. Moreover, there are plenty of adventurous activities to indulge in the city. However, if you have to pick one, it would be XLine Dubai Marina. Measuring 1 km in length, it is considered the longest urban zipline in the world. Aside this, it is also the fastest and the steepest zipline of the world. Apart from enjoying the ride, you also get customized photographs and videos of your ride to flaunt amongst your friends.


Dubai Miracle Garden


Mushroom Shaped Buildings At The Miracle Garden In Dubai.

One of the most fascinating places in Dubai is the Dubai Miracle Garden. Yes, right in the middle of the desert is the largest flower garden in the world. Home to more than 109 million flowers, the Miracle Garden has all the features to awe its visitors. But what really attracts the guests is the way the flowers have been arranged. You would be enthralled by the castles, clock, figurines and models that are completely made with flowers here. 


Important Tips to Remember For Your Visit to Dubai


• Unlike the West, weekend in Dubai does not fall on Saturday and Sunday, but rather on Friday and Saturday. Do consider this while planning your trip.

• It is best to avoid drinking and driving as well as public display of affection as both are illegal in the city.

• The best way to travel within the city is by taxi and metro.

• While Dubai is quite liberal in comparison to the other Emirate cities, it is still best to dress modestly, especially if you are visiting the old parts of the city.




Dubai is an enthralling city that holds several world records, making a trip to the city truly memorable. If you have never visited the city before, now is the perfect time to do so. We promise you that your first trip to Dubai would definitely not be your last one.


Guest Post Author: Rezmin is an adventure enthusiast and loves traveling. After working as a copywriter for 2 years, she shifted streams and has been working as a travel writer since more than 8 years. She enjoys all kinds of adventure sports be it paragliding, bungee jumping, skiing, or skydiving. She loves sharing her adventures and stories with everyone. She writes this on behalf of Rayna Tours.


Dubai Work Remotely Visa


If you have fallen in love with Dubai and would like to stay longer consider the one year Virtual Working Program. If you obtain this visa you can stay for up to 12 months in Dubai.


Dubai Buildings, Xlining and Sailing From Old Town in Dubai.

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  1. Shalzmojo

    Dubai is one of the most glossy cities of the world in terms of buildings, shopping and luxury outlets. You have covered every aspect here pretty well and this would serve as a great guide for a first timer in Dubai.

  2. Cosette

    Haven’t been to Dubai yet, so this is a perfect first timer guide for Dubai.

  3. Lina

    I still haven’t made it to Dubai yet which I’m super sad about. I’m hoping to go there soon tho and this will be super helpful! 🙂

  4. Krista

    I haven’t been to Dubai yet but it’s on my list! I’ll be saving these helpful tips for later.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      I think Dubai is on a lot of people’s lists and I’m glad it is on yours. It is a great place to visit.

  5. Diana

    What a great blog post for first-timers in Dubai. I’ve been to Dubai and I can say one thing: Dubai is awesome and everyone should travel there at least once. I spent there two weeks in 2019 and I cannot wait to go back.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      That is good to hear. It is always good to research your destination before you arrive, particularly if it is your first time there. Then you don’t walk blindly around and miss things. Though with some of those big buildings in Dubai I doubt you would miss them!

  6. Usman

    With stunning architecture, fancy hotels, shopping festivals, majestic skyscrapers, glittering skylines, and giant shopping malls, Dubai is truly a paradise for scores of tourists from around the world. Known to be one of the most progressive regions in the Middle East region, Dubai has undergone a huge transformation.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Yes, i agree. Great place to visit either as a stopover or holiday.


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